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Poster: adamelijah Date: Jul 14, 2010 7:58pm
Forum: classic_tv Subject: Amos N' Andy: The Anatomy of a Controversy

One show that can't be posted here is Amos 'N Andy because the copyrights were all renewed. A documentary about the whole controversy was made more than 25 years ago and is up at Hulu. Pretty interesting for classic TV buffs:

http://www.hulu.com/watch/48119/amos-n-andy-anatomy-of-a-controversy

I'm not quite sure how I feel about Amos 'N Andy, however I think the way CBS handled the controversy was wrong. They stopped re-airing Amos 'N Andy in the 1960s. The show came up for copyright renewal in the late 1970s and early 1980s and CBS renewed its copyright to actually stop people from being able to see the show.

Of course, perhaps the most interesting part of this story is that nearly every episode of Amos 'N Andy is available today on illegal DVDs I've seen for sale on several sites in my Internet travels. (75 of 78 is the latest count.)

CBS and the opponents of Amos 'N Andy didn't have a good understanding of human nature. Had the show quietly faded from circulation like, "Love That Bob," there would have been 15 or 20 episodes of Amos and Andy floating around on public domain releases. However, the Amos 'N Andy contorversy plays into the "forbidden fruit" instinct and so the trading and acquisition is rampant.

When all of the Amos 'N Andy TV shows fall into the public domain in 2048, I wouldn't be surprised if that same "Forbidden Fruit" factor led to someone making a lot of money by remastering it, while CBS gets nothing.

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Poster: The_Monkey_Master Date: Jul 16, 2010 1:42pm
Forum: classic_tv Subject: Re: Amos N' Andy: The Anatomy of a Controversy

I've been watching some Amos and Andy TV Shows on You Tube and listening to some of the radio shows (they star white people) And I think A&A has got to be one of the smartest written comedys of all times. Unlike some shows that a just dum A&A is a little more real/down-to-earth.

Also, what about "Calvin and the Colonel", the cartoon remake of Amos and Andy? Whould it fall under the same problems as A&A?

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Poster: adamelijah Date: Jul 16, 2010 3:48pm
Forum: classic_tv Subject: Re: Amos N' Andy: The Anatomy of a Controversy

Nah, Calvin and the Colonel is seperate and there weren't any renewals.

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Poster: HappySwordsman Date: Jul 16, 2010 12:31am
Forum: classic_tv Subject: Re: Amos N' Andy: The Anatomy of a Controversy

It couldn't have been worse than "Fresh Prince of Bel Air". That show nearly made my older sister hate Black people.

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Poster: MaskedMala Date: Jul 15, 2010 7:10am
Forum: classic_tv Subject: Re: Amos N' Andy: The Anatomy of a Controversy

Hi adamelijah, I've got one of those Amos N' Andy DVD set and it's a shame that it's not commercially available on DVD. It was a funny show and a lot better than the junk we see on TV these days. BTW thank you adamelijah for those wonderful TV shows that you uploaded on archive, can't wait to see more of them

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Poster: elmagno Date: Jul 15, 2010 8:42am
Forum: classic_tv Subject: Re: Amos N' Andy: The Anatomy of a Controversy

"CBS renewed its copyright to actually stop people from being able to see the show."

Serious stuff. If CBS owned Shakespeare, Thomas Paine, or Michael Moore, or fill in the blank, what then?

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Poster: cathyftr Date: Jul 15, 2010 9:24am
Forum: classic_tv Subject: Re: Amos N' Andy: The Anatomy of a Controversy

"CBS renewed its copyright to actually stop people from being able to see the show."

Sounds like an urban legend to me that is along the lines of...

"Bill Cosby owns the rights to the old Little Rascals and Blondie & Dagwood movies to keep people from watching them because Cosby feels both are racist.."

"....Ted Turner owns the rights to the Dukes of Hazzard because Turner felt the show made those from the south look like a bunch of stupid rednecks..."

and my favorite..

"..The city of Indianapolis, Indiana recently had bought the rights of one episode of The Simpsons from FOX because the episode in question, though had Homer Simpson & Comic Book Guy visit Indianapolis..the city objected the scene where the two men visited a local leather bar only to end up being tied in chains and forced to smoke cigars by the hands of gay bears..."

Despite people ( and even those trivia books ) saying this stuff is true and fact...Ah..no...all sound like urban legends to me.

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Poster: adamelijah Date: Jul 15, 2010 4:10pm
Forum: classic_tv Subject: Re: Amos N' Andy: The Anatomy of a Controversy

CBS renewing the copyright just to keep it out of the public domain is just a theory from deductive reasoning, I should say. By the time the first few episodes of Amos 'N Andy came up for renewal, they hadn't been syndicating the show for 14 years. Why renew them?

It's not like every CBS series got their copyright renewed. The fact is that if they hadn't renewed their copyrights from 1979-81, pressure groups would have skinned them alive if independent TV stations started airing the series.

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Poster: cathyftr Date: Jul 15, 2010 5:55pm
Forum: classic_tv Subject: Re: Amos N' Andy: The Anatomy of a Controversy

1979 was the year the former CBS sitcom Good Times went syndication and looking back now I wouldn't be surprised if that was the reason why CBS renewed the copyrights for Amos & Andy.

Totally forgotten now but Good Times was actually considred by many Blacks in the 70's as to be "unfair" to their race. Characters like 'Sweet Daddy", being unemployed most of the time, living int he "projects", single parents..etc..not exactly a "good thing" for many Blacks they felt. In 1979 when Baltimore's WMAR-TV started to air the reruns of Good Times, crosstown at WJZ-TV they asked many blacks in and around Baltimore about their faults on Good Times and not one of them gave the show a positive review. Even the stars of Good Times at the time slammed their own show such as Ralph Carter "Michael" making a statement that "Good Times" wasn't exactly positive for blacks, though later on he would warm up to the show.

OTOH..Good Times was overall a very successful show in syndication in 1979, well into the 80's and made lots of money for Norman Lear ( not CBS ) so maybe CBS felt that sooner or later the time would be for Amos & Andy ( so why not renew them? ) even though that "time" would never hapen. Or perhaps CBS was spooked by the negative reaction of Good Times...chances are it was one of the two

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Poster: adamelijah Date: Jul 15, 2010 6:41pm
Forum: classic_tv Subject: Re: Amos N' Andy: The Anatomy of a Controversy

The Good Times reaction was interesting. It was ironic in that Amos and Andy documentary how many Blacks (including the host) were pro-Amos and Andy, and all things considered, Amos and Andy may have given African Americans a better shake.

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Poster: elmagno Date: Jul 15, 2010 11:02am
Forum: classic_tv Subject: Re: Amos N' Andy: The Anatomy of a Controversy

Let me clarify: I have no particular knowledge of the status of Amos n Andy episodes or the three other examples cathyfr refers to, though those do seem suspiciously folklorish.

My interest concerns buying culture and hording it or, more generally, withholding it. Famous paintings are the go-to cultural object here.

Owning a great idea is probably most tempting to those who have never had one.